Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

In-House Education a Key to Business Success

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

In-House Education a Key to Business Success

Article excerpt

What is the major economic weakness confronting business in this country? According to a survey by the Institute of Industrial Engineers, it's a steady decline in the education level of the American work force.

The survey concluded, among other things, that a well-educated work force is rapidly approaching extinction and undermining American productivity. The survey also reported that the decline in productivity has reached "alarming" proportions.

The rapid deterioration of education has been recognized as a national problem for several years, according to Gregory Ballestrero, IIE's executive director. "To achieve high levels of productivity and produce quality products, well-trained employees are mandatory," he says. "In a small business, there is little margin for even a slight drop in productivity or quality. "The small-business person must look to a relatively small staff to do their jobs right," Ballestrero adds. "Training is the key. It makes for a smarter employee, a more involved employee, and a more motivated employee. A training budget is one of the most important investments a small business can make in its future." Accepting the fact that the poor level of education is infecting the work force, the real question is: What do businesses do about it? There is a collective answer, and there is an answer for the individual businessperson. As part of the broad picture, it is important that businesspeople actively participate in efforts to improve the educational system in this country. Involvement can lead to change. Future change, however, will not do anything to further the productivity of your company right now. The business owner must create employee programs that will serve as the missing link between education and performance. Ninety-seven percent of those responding to the IIE national survey agreed that "employee training, education and motivation are the keys to improving productivity and quality." One of the IIE's recommendations is that managers conduct internal surveys to identify strengths and weaknesses affecting productivity. Such surveys could include questions for employees such as "Am I fully trained and capable of performing to my supervisor's expectations? …

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